It’s the end of 2019, so it’s time for us to look back on a year -- and a decade! -- of fangirling! In Your Biggest Fangirl’s last episode of 2019, we share highlights from the podcast and our finest moments of fangirling from the year, while reflecting on the growth of the show and ourselves as fangirls. We discuss how fandom and the role of fans have evolved over time, as the divide between creators and consumers continues to shrink-- recognizing the power (and challenges and responsibilities that come along with it) fans face in regards to influencing the media they consume. We also look ahead to 2020 and the things we hope to see!
The Your Biggest Fangirl Podcast will be going on an extended winter break and will return in 2020. Subscribe to get the new episode when it comes out!
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We join the Clone Club this week on the podcast! Our guest this week is Heli Kennedy, a writer currently on the writing team for Orphan Black: The Next Chapter on the literary entertainment platform Serialbox. This isn’t Heli’s first jaunt with the Orphan Black series, as she previously penned the spin-off comics at IDW, Helsinki and Deviations. Her talents span all these forms of media; in addition to audio dramas and comic books, she is also a senior writer at video game company UbiSoft and a filmmaker. Heli shares how she integrates being a fan of Orphan Black into writing for the franchise, the differences in her approach and process when writing for its comic books versus collaborating on The Next Chapter, as well as the unique opportunities the audio drama format presents for delving deeper into all of our favorite characters! Heli also imparts her insights on turning your passion into your profession and her favorite member of the Clone Club to write for!
Where to Find Orphan Black: The Next Chapter
Listen or read the series on SerialBox: https://www.serialbox.com/serials/orphan-black
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @serialboxpub
Where to Find Heli:
Instagram and Twitter: @helikennedy
Monica Duarte makes her grand return to the podcast, and brings fellow fangirl Emily Schuck with her! Monica and Emily are the masterminds behind “Portrait of a Fangirl,” a new web series hosted on Temple of Geek, to which both Monica and Emily are contributors. You’ll remember Monica from Episode 18 -- she is a photographer, who can proudly claim her photos have been published in Doctor Who magazine and SFX magazine, and also co-hosts of the Temple of Geek Podcast. In addition to Emily’s contributions to the Temple of Geek podcast, their convention highlights and more, Emily is also a writer and editor of the Foothill Journal, which publishes graduate student poetry at Claremont Graduate University.
At the core of Portrait of a Fangirl is the necessity of telling the stories of women who have found inspiration, growth, and power through fandom. They interview several inspiring women about how their diverse and fascinating fandoms have enriched their lives. Victoria herself is one of the women interviewed in the series and we reflect on how the women profiled defined ‘fangirl’ and how we’ve been empowered through fangirling. We also take a look at the challenges of maintaining a balance between the fangirl and professional aspects of your life and combating the shame that can accompany the identity.
Where to find Portrait of a Fangirl:
Temple of Geek YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/templeofgeek
Where to find Emily:
Where to find Monica:
Instagram, Twitter: @thisdorkynerd
We head back to the wizarding world in the second half of our LeakyCon convention special! We celebrate reaching the big 5-0 episode count and share how the podcast has allowed us to grow as fans and people. We also explore the takeaways Victoria encountered at the con about the Harry Potter fandom, its commitment to social justice, and the impact on our own lives and worldview as members of the generation who got to grow up with Harry.
We have another group of five fantastic fangirls to hear from as well! They are:
Hayley Burson, an avid Harry Potter fan and costume maker. With her husband Michael, they specialize in creating screen replications from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. She’s also a co-host on Hold My Butterbeer, a podcast about all things wizarding world canon.
Where to Find Hayley:
Instagram & TikTok: @hobbitparty
Hold My Butterbeer Podcast: https://www.holdmybutterbeer.com/podcast
Porshea Patterson-Hurst, Bayana Davis, and Connie Gibbs from Black Girls Create.
Through substantive but accessible content, Black Girls Create is an intersectional hub for black creators and critical fandom. They collaborate to champion the increased media representation of Black women specifically, and people of color in general. Bayana Davis, serves as Editor in Chief of Black Girls Create & co-host of the #WizardTeam podcast, Connie Gibbs is Black Girls Create Managing Editor and co-host of the TARBIS podcast, and Porshea Patterson-Hurst, contributor at Black Girls Create, volunteers with the Harry Potter Alliance and co-hosts the Game of Thrones podcast Castle Black.
Where to Find Black Girls Create:
Instagram & Tumblr: @blackgirlscreate
Twitter & Facebook: @weblackandnerds
WizardTeam & TARBIS Podcasts: http://blackgirlscreate.org/bwc
Where to Find Porshea:
Where to Find Connie:
Twitter & Instagram: @constar24
Where to Find Bayana:
Melissa Anelli has been reporting on the Harry Potter phenomenon since 2001, and since then has served as the webmistress of the premier Harry Potter fansite The Leaky Cauldron, authored the New York Times bestselling book Harry, A History and founded Mischief Management, a company that produces fan events, LeakyCon included, focusing on community, content, and creativity where she serves as CEO. You may know her from the long-running Harry Potter fan podcast Pottercast or from one of the Mischief Media podcasts, Make New Mistakes and Extraneous. It’s no surprise that we’ve been seriously inspired by Melissa and been fans of hers for years, so we were thrilled when she took time out of running the show at LeakyCon to chat with us.
Where to Find Melissa:
Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @melissaanelli
Buy Melissa’s book Harry, a History on Amazon
Where to Find LeakyCon:
Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @leakycon
This Harry Potter convention is jam-packed with brilliant fangirls, so much so that we had to split it into multiple episodes! (Not unlike Voldemort’s Horcruxes.) Victoria tells us all about her experience at the ultimate wizarding world convention – regaling us with tales of the thoughtful panels, making peace with not being the most knowledgeable fan in the room, snacking on Golden Snitchwiches and more.
Our first LeakyCon special includes:
Christine Chapman is the programs director of Uplift: Online Communities Against Sexual Violence. Uplift is a nonprofit dedicated to combating sexual abuse in online communities through education and advocacy. They work to ensure that these flourishing communities are safe for the millions of people who connect through them by offering toolkits for convention organizers, partnering with platforms, and creating campaigns like a Safer Community Pledge.
Where to learn more about Uplift:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr: @uplifttogether
Sequoia Thomas and Kim Harris are the hosts of Fanatical Fics and Where to Find Them, a Harry Potter podcast where they read the craziest, funniest, and most outlandish Fanfiction they can find! Delving through the likes of fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own, they strive to recapture a time long past by bringing back stories written 10 or more years ago as well as recommending one of their favorite fics every episode.
Where to Find Fanatical Fics:
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook: @FanaticalFics
Proma Khosla and Olivia Dolphin have both worked for LeakyCon in the past and parlayed their experience into their careers beyond the convention. Proma is an entertainment reporter who has written about Harry Potter professionally for The Michigan Daily, Teen Vogue, Glamour, and in her current job at Mashable. She’s also a dancer and worked on Team Starkid’s A Very Potter Sequel. Olivia Dolphin has worked as a copywriter and runs a literary magazine called Wizards in Space that grew out of the LeakyCon community.
Where to find Olivia:
Twitter, Instagram: @LiviDol
Wizards in Space: https://www.wizardsinspacemag.com/
Where to find Proma:
Twitter, Instagram: @promawhatup
Where to find Lion Party Films:
As Supernatural begins its 15th and final season, we talk to Dr. Lynn Zuburnis, a clinical psychologist and professor at West Chester University and longtime Supernatural fangirl. Lynn discusses with us how she has found balance between her academic and psychological roles with those of her fangirl and personal ones. With her collaborator Dr. Katherine Larsen, they have published four books fusing academia and fandom, Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls, Fan Phenomena: Supernatural, Fandom at the Crossroads and Fan Culture: Theory/Practice. Her latest book delves deeper into the Supernatural fandom with Family Don’t End with Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives, an anthology of essays that’s a love letter to the show, written by its cast and fans. We celebrate and examine 15 years of the Supernatural fandom, from the significance of the fans to the show’s longevity and how it may evolve when it ends.
Where to find Lynn:
Fangasm, The Book: https://fangasmthebook.com/
Family Don’t End With Blood: http://amzn.to/2q8KKXh
Karama Horne is the visionary behind The BlerdGurl, a website that provides commentary and perspective from the often overlooked black nerd demographic. On her website, ‘blerd is a word and a movement.’ She’s a contributor at SYFYWire, where she writes the weekly Indie Comics Spotlight column and co-hosts their two of their weekly podcasts. In addition, she also hosts two of her own, The Blerdgurl Podcast, and The Radical Geeks with Angelique Roché. Karama joins us to not only share her experience as a woman of color in the geek space, but how we can cultivate safe spaces on the internet, engage in online discourse healthily, and champion our peers in fandom. She also shares how fangirls can create their own platform and grow their presence in the nerd community, plus leaves us with tons of comic and fan film recommendations!
Miles from Home Fan Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OSvMmfIj_w
Karama’s article 25 Reasons You’re Not Making Any Money at Comic Cons: http://theblerdgurl.com/resources/cons/why-you-dont-make-money-at-comic-cons/
Karama’s post about Riri Williams: http://theblerdgurl.com/commentary/riri-rhodey-re-skinning-marvel-misunderstanding-diversity/
Where to Find Karama:
Brandon Easton is a writer, screenwriter, and educator based in Los Angeles who has written for Agent Carter’s second season, and the Thundercats and Transformers Rescue Bots animated series. He’s also an Eisner-nominated comic writer, penning Catalyst Prime: Incidentals and Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven for Lion Forge, then most recently Star Trek: Year Five and Transformers Galaxies for IDW. He discusses his journey from passion to profession throughout his career, and the progress he’s made on his quest to ultimately fill the ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ of his favorite franchises to which he’s contributed. Brandon takes us through the differences in writing for various forms of media and licensed properties from page to screen. He also stresses the importance of inclusion when discussing diversity in creating comic books or television, and how it lends an authenticity for a wider audience.
Where to find Brandon:
Writing for Rookies podcast: https://writingforrookies.podcastpeople.com/
The Two Brandons podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/10132
We’re sending everyone back to school in fangirl style on this week’s episode with Dr. CarrieLynn Reinhard! Dr. Reinhard is an associate professor at Dominican University, where she also leads the Social Media Minor for the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences. Her research and work in popular culture blends communication studies, fan studies and psychology. When it comes to examining fandom academically, her book Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities is one of the many she has published through her academic career, and she also serves as editor of the Popular Culture Studies Journal. Finally, she’s a fellow podcaster and co-hosts The Pop Culture Lens podcast. CarrieLynn explores with us the merits of examining fandom and online communication in fan cultures intellectually, opening yourself up to critiquing the media you love, and how we can communicate better as fans in the digital space!
Where to Find Dr. Reinhard:
Listen to the Pop Culture Lens Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and PodBean.
We’re bringing you all another convention special, this time from Kristen’s home turf in Raleigh, North Carolina! She contrasts the benefits of attending GalaxyCon Raleigh as opposed to larger events like Star Wars Celebration, and shares her highlights, discoveries, and takeaways from the convention. In the midst of fangirling with Victoria she takes us across the galaxy of geekdom and introduces us to five awesome ladies on this week’s episode:
Ellen Walsh is the founder of Elden Fragrances, which creates ‘mythical scents for the modern nose’ and has several fandom-inspired perfumes. Ellen shares how she got into perfumery and what inspires her in designing her scents.
Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @eldenfragrances
Debbie, also known as Iron Heart Cosplay, is cosplayer who has put her own spin on characters such as Riri Williams/Iron Heart, Supergirl, Sailor Mars, and Broly. After winning a local cosplay contest, Debbie secured a table in Cosplay Alley at this year’s GalaxyCon.
Bria LaVorgna is the Managing Editor of Tosche Station.net with bylines for StarWars.com and on essays in the Marvel Comics series that highlights the ages of the Republic, Rebellion and Resistance. She also volunteers with noted Star Wars cosplay groups, 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion.
Twitter & Instagram: @chaosbria
Read Bria’s Padme Amidala Essay in Age of Republic: https://comicstore.marvel.com/Star-Wars-Age-Of-Republic-Padme-Amidala-2019-1/digital-comic/50890?r=1
The Craft Collective is a partnership between two business owners, Lauren and Ellie who fuse fandom fun and practicality. Lauren founded La Jolie Fraise, whose textiles add a fandom twist to her handmade scarves, cosplay aprons and more. Meanwhile, Ellie has Ellie Hoops, uniting her fitness expertise with her love of fandom through decorated hula-hoops to promote exercise and fitness in the fan community.
Instagram & Facebook: @elliecerceaux
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaJolieFraise
Have you ever been to a local convention? Tell us about your experiences!